I had the opportunity to interview one of the members of the Canadian band Conversation. These guys hail from Victoria, BC but have been making a splash into the Toronto music scene. Want to have cooler music taste than your friends? Take a look at this interview, and then get ready to buy their new EP which comes out this spring.
Robyn Homeniuk (RH): How did your band come to be a band? Introduce the band to me the same way people introduce themselves!
Tim Bolton (TB): Conversation began quite a while ago. Erik (bassist) and I (Timothy, vocals) are the only founding members who are still playing in the band. We started Conversation in 2007 in Victoria, BC because we believed in the idea that music should be created with honesty and without the restriction of expectation. We were fans of post hardcore bands like Refused, The Bled, Glassjaw and Alexisonfire so the music we created was in parallel to said bands. We weren’t the greatest at what we did but we played with more passion and raw honesty than anyone else in our scene and this shone through in our live shows. In 2012 I decided to move everything to Toronto to find new opportunities for Conversation and we’ve been working ever since.
RH: What was the moment for you when you started to realize playing music might be more than a hobby?
TB: As soon as Conversation was created, I knew that this wasn’t a hobby for me; I committed to this 100% from day one and I have never looked back. Making this music and playing these shows is the one thing in my life that truly makes me feel alive and when you find that one thing, you will fight tooth and nail to keep doing it for as long as you can. The moment when I knew this might actually be something bigger than just 5 dummies throwing themselves around would have to be when I first heard our song on the radio. The rock radio station in Victoria (The Zone) made us band of the month and played our track “Two Weeks In London” every day. The feedback was amazing and it was a great spring board for us. That was when I knew we needed to push harder and go bigger.
RB: Why did you choose to move to Toronto? What did it change about your music, do you gain inspiration from different places?
TB: I moved Conversation to Toronto for a fresh start; things on the west coast had become stagnant for me and I knew a big move would help to re-energize me creatively and get me motivated. Toronto always felt like a city I could live in; we toured here in 2010 and I knew from the moment we drove into town that I liked the place. This is also definitely the pulse for music in Canada and the industry lives here so I knew there would be great opportunity for us if we hustled hard enough.
RB: East coast or west coast as a preference and why? (To live and for shows)
TB: This is a tough question and I know you would get different answers out of different members. For me, Toronto is the best city in Canada and I feel lucky to be here. I love playing shows here and we have had the pleasure of playing with some amazing bands since setting up shop. For me, there is nowhere else I’d rather be. But Victoria will always hold a special place for me and several members of the band. It’s where it all began for us and the city has a charm that it undefinable. I’ve always said Victoria is like the girl you never truly get over.
RB: Which coast has better food?
TB: West coast sushi. East coast poutine.
RB: Most people have a general idea and I’m sure you guys did before you went to a studio. What’s the most peculiar/surprising thing you learned thing about recording an EP?
TB: We’ve been recording tracks for a long time now but I always learn something new. When we recorded our latest record with Mike Evola, I was given a lot more freedom to sing and perform without worrying too much about getting every single thing perfect. I think this gave me a lot more confidence to be creative in the studio and not shy away from trying strange and often very raw ideas. For example, I spent quite a bit of time standing in the far corner of the vocal booth screaming and ranting at the wall just to see what I would come up with. It’s amazing what you can create when you just let it happen.
RB: Who is your dream collaborator and why? (Singers, producers, whatever type of collab)
TB: If I could work with anyone, I would want to write a song with Fiona Apple. She has been a huge influence for most of my life and if I had the opportunity to work with her, I would snap it up in a second! I think the two different styles of music could really work well together and I think we could make something amazing.
RB: What kind of music do you listen to? Top five songs (or albums if songs is too hard) for you at the moment.
TB: Such a tough question!! I am always seeking out new music and new artists but I’m also a sucker for my classics and I seem to fall back on them a lot of the time. Today I have listened to: – Hands Like Houses: Unimagine – Copeland: Ixora – Closure In Moscow: The Penance and the Patience – Frightened Rabbit: Midnight Organ Fight – Oh, Sleeper: When I Am God
RB: Are you watching any good TV shows lately?
TB: I recently bashed through the first two seasons of Hannibal which was just brilliant. And I spent all of January in Melbourne, Australia watching The Simpsons with my little sister.
RB: Anything else you want to get off your chest for people on the Internet to read?
TB: We are currently writing our new record which will be recorded over the next month so make sure to check out our website and Facebook for all kinds of updates in the days to come. And thank you to anyone who has bought a CD, worn a t-shirt or come to one of our shows. You make it all worthwhile. And discarded pizza boxes are an excellent source of cheese.